A complaint has been received against Anurag Kashyap’s short film in the 2020 anthology on Netflix India. Ghost Stories, one of the first examples of complaints to be filed after the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting formulated the Information Technology (Guidelines for Intermediaries and Digital Media Ethics Code) Rules 2021 earlier this year.
The complainant, according to a report by Mid-Day, has expressed objection to a scene where the lead character, Sobhita Dhulipala, eats a foetus after she has suffered a miscarriage. The complaint reads, ‘The scene is not required for the story, and if the creators wished to add such a scene, there should have been a trigger warning for women who have gone through the trauma of miscarriages’.
A complaint should be made within 24 hours and addressed as soon as possible, according to the report. In the report, a Netflix India spokesperson was quoted as saying, ‘Because this was a partner-managed production [RSVP Movies and Flying Unicorn Entertainment], we shared the complaint with the production company’.
Prior to the notification of the Rules, digital news media were largely unregulated. Introducing the new laws is seen by many as an effort to moderate and impose restrictions on digital creators. ‘So it has started… A complaint came to Netflix on Ghost Stories. This is the end,’ Anurag wrote in an Instagram Story that is no longer displayed on his profile but was seen by MediaNama.
On New Year’s day in 2020, Ghost Stories, an anthology film that also included short films from Zoya Akhtar, Dibakar Banerjee, and Karan Johar, was released. The film was a sequel to the filmmakers’ 2018 anthology Lust Stories. Netflix India has faced backlash for titles such as Sacred Games and A Suitable Boy, while Amazon Prime Video has faced backlash for titles such as The Family Man and Tandav.